Can I Cut Down USPS Boxes to Get Cheaper Rates?

While we typically advocate for shippers to invest in their own custom packaging and not cut down Priority Mail boxes, it's still a feasible option
cut down USPS boxes

As more shippers become aware of special dimension-based services such as USPS Priority Mail Cubic, many wonder if they can cut down USPS boxes to get better rates and lower their costs. As best practice, we advise against doing this. Instead, we typically advise shippers to invest in their own custom packaging and not cut down USPS boxes. However, cutting regular Priority Mail boxes to achieve smaller dimensions is a feasible option.

The Only Way to Do It Is to Use Regular Priority Mail Boxes

If you’re adamant on cutting down USPS boxes, the only way you can get away with it is to use regular Priority Mail boxes only. These specific boxes are as follows:

Keep in mind that if you use any of these boxes listed above, you must also purchase Priority Mail postage (Priority Mail Cubic postage is also fine). If you don’t, you’ll be charged for Priority Mail service anyway via USPS’ APV System.

Also, you won’t be able to cut down any Priority Mail Express, Regional Rate, or Flat Rate boxes and envelopes. You can’t simply turn them inside out, either. USPS considers altering or turning these specifically-branded boxes and envelopes inside out as a “specific misuse that is not allowed.”

An Alternative to Cutting Down USPS Boxes: Using Custom Packaging

Generally speaking, we would advise not cutting down USPS boxes (or any boxes, for that matter). It’s honestly quite a hassle, and creates a somewhat unprofessional presentation. Plus, the savings you’ll get from cutting a box to make it smaller might not be worth the time.

If you’re building an eCommerce business, you might also be better off using custom packaging, anyway. Custom packaging gives you an opportunity to reinforce your brand, and you can still ship in specially discounted mail classes like Priority Mail Cubic when you use online shipping software to buy labels. Also, a custom designed package simply looks way better than a USPS box when it shows up on your customers’ doorsteps. Trust us when we say that when it comes to running an eCommerce business, the image of your packaging goes a long way.

For more information on USPS’ stance on cutting down or altering boxes and envelopes, feel free to visit this FAQ landing page.

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